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Life-Threatening Experiences, Support for the Family

  • By: Carol Quayle
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

The definition of family is a complex one that relates to a grouping of people considered by the person to be significant. Traditionally the reference is to a group of two or more people that are related by birth. This could however relate to people who share family backgrounds, live in the same house but have not made a recognized legal commitment to each other by marriage, cohabitate in a same-sex relationship, or share the care of significant people. This entry refers to the group that the person who is ill deems to be family and may include the person with legal powers of attorney for financial and medical decision making.

In considering the words life-threatening illness it is important to explore the complexity of the ...

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